ANDOVER, Kan. (KSNW) – Carly Bowden, a math teacher at Andover Central Middle School, received the 2019-2020 Milken Educator Award during a surprise ceremony Jan. 9, 2020, at the school.

Dr. Jane Foley, Milken Educator Awards senior vice president, was joined by Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson, Deputy Commissioner Dale Dennis and Andover Unified School District 385 superintendent Brett White for the announcement.

Bowden is among 40 honorees nationwide for 2019-2020.

“I didn’t think that it was me. It sounds cliche, it felt like a dream and if you could keep replaying what did she say? What did she just say? Did she say my name?” said Carly Bowden. “Totally overwhelmed, totally caught off by surprise.”

Kansas joined the Milken Educator program in 1992, and Bowden is the 67th Kansan to be named a Milken Educator. More than $1.6 million has been awarded in Kansas since the program began.

“Carly represents the exceptional educators here in Kansas,” said Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson. “Her ability to engage her students in meaningful, personalized learning is what every educator should aspire to achieve. I want to congratulate her on being named a Milken Educator. I also want to thank the Milken Family Foundation for giving us the opportunity to recognize Kansas’ outstanding teachers.”

Bowden is a seventh-grade math teacher at Andover Central Middle School, Andover Unified School District 385. She received her bachelor’s degree in math education in 2015 from Emporia State University.

“This is my fifth full year here in Andover. In May, I will complete five and a half years of teaching so I am a rookie teacher so the veteran teachers are what have brought me to where I am at right now,” said Bowden.

Bowden has received numerous awards and honors, including being a Horizon Award Winner in 2017. She is a Capturing Kids Hearts champion leader, serves on the building leadership team and coaches the Andover Central Middle School track and cross country teams.